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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #16  
Old 14 Apr 2010
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AFAIK Reinhart travelled just with his Mrs and 2000L of fuel most of the time.

I asked him once there must be a book in it, but he said he never had any dramas worth noting. You certainly could not wander around like he did, even though most people imagine this must be what the Sahara is all about. Too many regs and crims now, although that still leaves most of the Sahara, as long as you dont mind the escort rules. RM and many old-school Saharans would never stomach that.

Ch
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  #17  
Old 14 Apr 2010
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Two points really to note:
1. 2000l of fuel is very impressive, but how the hell did he manage it?!?
2. How did he fund these travels? Several years, he was travelling for a large part of it?!?!

But sadly, his type of travel is no longer possible unless you are very determined...
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  #18  
Old 14 Apr 2010
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Sorry, I meant 2000km range - 2000L is a lot in even in a Troopie!

How? - I guess it depends on your commitment and interests.

Ch
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  #19  
Old 14 Apr 2010
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2000l? I was gonna say, my MAN camper only has 1000l!
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  #20  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Hello,

Going from 8 Bells via Kilf Kebir to Siwa assumes you will have to go via the Aquaba Pass. You will struggle trying to ascend the pass in an 18 ton truck. I advise caution.
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  #21  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Roman,
Is there any alternative route? or would it have a change of being possible with an 18ton camper?
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  #22  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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I assume with only 4 wheels MAN won't actually weigh 18T, it's just rated at that - probably 10 or 12 all up?

There is a way round the left side (Mushroom rock?) which passes into Libya briefly and is straightforward - we did it in 2004/5. From there up through the GSS the route that we took again passes back into Libya at times to avoid the worst of the dunes which can't be avoided as you near Siwa but MAN ought to manage it.

I wonder if with low tyres and enough grunt (240hp is it?) it might not crawl up the Aqaba. Nothing to lose trying. Then you can slide down the Lama-Monod Pass and up to GSS (did that a year later or so).

Whichever way you go around there, it's all good.

Ch

Sahara Overland ~ Gilf Kebir, Great Sand Sea, Jebel Uweinat
http://www.sahara-overland.com/Sfile...Map%202006.jpg
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  #23  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Hello,

There's none from the south of the Gilf, unless Andras proves me wrong.
And even if it's possible to reach the Great Sand Sea by another route (along the west side of the Gilf), your guide may not receive a permit from the army to follow it.

The area is the playground for all sorts of undesirables from northern Sudan and Chad. Their main target are the big trucks bypassing the Gilf, because the Aquaba Pass is not for them. Your truck would be another, even more valuable prize on that route.

I think you need first to speak to an Egyptian guide and discuss the plan with him.
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  #24  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I wonder if with low tyres and enough grunt (240hp is it?) it might not crawl up the Aqaba.
Chris,

It's not the inclination that is the problem (from ca 840m to 890m above sea level), but the length of the climb - almost 400m on very soft sand. On top the Gilf it is safer because there is no trucks coming this way to chase. Having done this climb twice I could see why.

Anyway, have a look at the route marked in google earth:
http://www.zen59375.zen.co.uk/public...quaba_pass.jpg


Quote:
Whichever way you go around there, it's all good.
Guaranteed!

Roman
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Last edited by Roman; 15 Apr 2010 at 17:11.
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  #25  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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... main target are the big trucks bypassing the Gilf, because the Aquaba Pass is not for them.

These big trucks from Matan and Kufra would go south of Uweinat directly to Sudan (and vv). Why risk getting involved with Egyptian territory, mines and terrain, especially now it's supposedly more patrolled?
And so a big truck is no more of a target than any other tourist group down here between JU and Gilf, except that it carries more stuff.
The Aqaba Pass goes to/from nowhere useful for traffickers and could be an easily manned bottleneck if the army put their mind to it (there is at least one other descendable pass from the Gilf west of Aqaba).

Lighter illicit traffic does cut through this corner of Egypt as many of us have seen; locals transporting subsidised Libyan goods to Sudan as well as less desirable people smugglers, to name a few.


It's not the inclination that is the problem...

It would have to be a clean run for sure - no restarting on PSP and no momentum apart from bouncing up and down on the seat!
When we did it with Troopies ten years ago, only I of 3-4 'cleaned' it, iirc.

This 18T truck might have more than twice the torque and tyre area of an HJZ but up to 4 times the weight.
With my '8T' MAN (5T actual) I learned it's all in the gear ratios as much as power, much like an old Series III or lame Hilux diesel. They can be amazingly agile once you have a 'feel' for the sand, which takes a few days in any vehicle.


Ch
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  #26  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Quote:
These big trucks from Matan and Kufra would go south of Uweinat directly to Sudan (and vv). Why risk getting involved with Egyptian territory, mines and terrain, especially now it's supposedly more patrolled?
Chris,

Not necessarily if I can rely on what we heard last October from the Egyptian soldiers stationed between Jebel Kamil and Karkur Talh. Besides, people smugglers tend to go north, not east to Sudan.
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  #27  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Gilk Kebir Itinery

Thanks for all the opinions everyone,

Roman (or anyone else),

I plan to spend around 21 (or so) days in the Gilf starting from Dakhla ending up in Siwa (coming from the silica glass field). The places i want to visit are(in no partucilar order here):
1. 8 Bells
2. Regenfield
3. Jebel Kamil
4. Karkur Talh
5. Jebel Uweinat
6. Wadi Sora

Does anyone have any advice or opinions on which route to take? or any waypoints? This would be very helpful as this is my 1st planned trip to the area.

Cheers.

P.S. Are there any good places to see that I have missed out of this???
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  #28  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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P.S. Are there any good places to see that I have missed out of this???


I think the New Cave (or whatever they decided to call it) - not far west of Sora - is much more interesting if less 'historic'.
The guide will know the way. Then backtrack to Aqaba or go west to Mushroom, etc

Three Castles south of Aqaba is also a nice spot. And you must visit Abu Ballas on the way out of Dakhla too.

If you get on top, Lama memorial is worth a stop.

In the Gilf there is more to see than one can manage in one trip, however keen you are. Besides all the well known historic sites and prehistoric relics, there is some surreal geology in the places in between.

Make sure you read Libyan Sands and track down
EGYPT, CIVILISATION IN THE SANDS
Pauline and Phillipe de Flers (Konemann, 2000, (o/p)


Ch
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  #29  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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Cheers Chris,
I know there is so much out there! It's just that with my camper, I may only get the 1 chance to visit the gilf with it (the carnet is so bloody expensive!) so I want to see as much a I can.

Also,
Does Sudan have much of a problem with people nipping down into Karkul Talh?? I understand Libya won't allow you to cross to 'their' part of Jebel Uweinat?
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  #30  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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The route is not a problem, except for the point I raised earlier. These are well known landmarks (there are a few more places worth visiting, too, depending on your angle).

The distance between Dakhla Oasis and Siwa Oasis is about 2400 km. You can easily do it in two weeks, or three, provied you carry enough water.

What you have to bear in mind t plan your trip is that Egypt is NOT a tourism friendly country. For them tourism only means Shamal Sheik, Hurgarda, the piramids and suchlike.

Egypt is a police state and you are not free to roam. In the Western Desert any movement at all requires a permit issued by the army and the tourist police and the Ministry of Environment. And it costs an arm and a leg!

The permit is applied for by the Egyptian company supplying your guide and arranging for your military escort. This consists of one grumpy officer equipped with a toothbrush and a mobile phone to play tetris. There's more on the Hubb about permits to WD.

Hence, you do not need any special orienteering or navigational knowledge as your guide will only take you where he is allowed to go, day by day, and the officer will report your position each night to the army HQ using your sat phone, obviously at your own expense.

If you are planning to be in Bad Kissingen this June, send me a PM and we'll have a chat. I am interested in your MAN truck.
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